Looking At The Most Successful Race Horses Of All Time

Racehorses have been leaving spectators in awe for centuries. Their ability to streak across fields with utmost precision and grace has transformed them into highly-regarded athletes with many of the best-bred horses leaving a mark in the book of history. The most famous horses are the ones who have won many races while surpassing the expectations of their supporters and lining (or emptying) the pockets of horse bettors around the world like the winners enclosure.

The following list features the top racehorses of all time and they are acknowledged for bringing the best of what horse racing has to offer.

Seattle Slew

Entering the racing’s Hall of Fame in 1981, Seattle Slew became the first horse to capture the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont without a single loss on his ledger. This made him the 10th Triple Crown winner in 1977.

  • Born:  15 February 1974
  • Died: 7 May 2002
  • Career record: 17 starts, 14 wins
  • Earnings: $1,208,726


Winning the first 19 starts of her career, Zenyatta could be one of the most popular horses of all time. She made it to the Hall of Fame in 2016 and a statue at Santa Anita Park was erected in her honour.

  • Born: 1 April 2004
  • Died:
  • Career record: 20 starts, 19 wins
  • Earnings: $7,304,580


Winner of the Triple Crown in 1948, Citation also went on to set an American record by winning 16 consecutive races. His fame escalated in 1951 when he became the first thoroughbred to record more than $1 million in career earnings.

  • Born: 11 April 1945
  • Died: 8 August 1970
  • Career record: 45 starts, 32 wins
  • Earnings: $1,085,760


Acknowledged as one of the best female racehorses of all time, Ruffian eclipsed stakes-record times in all eight of her stakes victories. Her reign came to an unfortunate end, however, when she suffered fatal injuries mid-race.

  • Born: 17 April 1972
  • Died: 7 July 1975
  • Career record: 11 starts, 10 wins
  • Earnings: $313,428

Black Caviar

This Australian legend managed to remain unbeaten for all of her 25 career starts. Black Caviar also went on to participate in the Royal Ascot for the 2012 Diamond Jubilee.

  • Born: 18 August 2006
  • Died:
  • Career record: 25 starts, 25 wins
  • Earnings: $7,953,936


Frankel is considered one of the best horses in European racing history and remains undefeated in all 14 of his career starts. He has also been rated by Timeform as the highest-rated thoroughbred ever.

  • Born: 11 February 2018
  • Died:
  • Career record: 14 starts, 14 wins
  • Earnings: $3,974,840

Man o’ War

Man o’ War won some of the biggest races of his era. He went on to win two-thirds of the 1920 Triple Crown as well as a Jockey Club Gold Cup. With his first race marked at almost a century ago, he is still regarded as one of the most accomplished thoroughbreds of all time.

  • Born: 29 March 1917
  • Died: 1 November 1947
  • Career record: 21 starts, 20 wins
  • Earnings: $249,465


Secretariat’s historical significance can be taken from many feats. Accomplishing more than most of his era, he ran faster with each race and walked away with not one but two Horse of the Year honours.

  • Born: 30 March 1970
  • Died: 4 October 1989
  • Career record: 21 starts, 16 wins
  • Earnings: $1,316,808


  1. List of Leading Thoroughbred Racehorses. Wikipedia
  2. 10 Best Race Horses of All Time. Wonderlist


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